Meet the Students and the Faculty Behind this Praxis Lab
Kate Button is a junior at the University of Utah, and she is majoring in English and pursuing double minors in Spanish and Philosophy. She decided to join this Praxis Lab because she plans to work as a journalist and is passionate about various philosophies on truth in the media, the importance of ethical journalism, and the impact of the media on everyday life.
Victoria Hills is a sophomore at the U of U, majoring in Political Science with an Emphasis on International Policy and double minoring in Strategic Communication and Campaign Management. She is passionate about politics and was excited to explore the topic of miscommunication and fake news in today's technological world. She aspires to be a journalist.
Wiro is a sophomore studying Quantitative Analysis of Markets and Organizations. He was drawn to this project because he wants to combat socio-political polarization. This rift is often perpetuated by the spread of misinformation and his goal is to create awareness and increase digital literacy for the next generation.
Mario is a honors student who's majoring in Film and Media Arts. Though their emphasis is in Animation, they seek to be knowledgable about all media and its effects on society. Mario was born Utah and raised in West Valley City. They are a practicing animator with the goal to start their own studio in the future as a way to provide representation to the many marginalized groups in our society.
Sinndy is a Political Science and Sociology major. She joined this project because of the prominence of misinformation within politics, which significantly affect the lives of underrepresented communities, such as immigrants. After graduating, she wants to attend law school with the hopes of being an immigration attorney.
Eric Jara is an artist, producer, entrepreneur, author, as well as a QAMO major at the University of Utah. Having a passion for society's view of Mexicans in the US and the power of social media, he is motivated to influence people's view to change the narrative of what the word "Mexican" represents
Audrey Pozernick is double majoring in Political Science and Philosophy of Science, she chose
this praxis lab because she is interested in researching how social media platforms define truth
and how the law plans to adapt to misinformation and disinformation on social media as it
continues to be used as a political tool to manipulate election outcomes and marginalize certain
groups in society.
Avery is an Associate Professor and Vice-President's Clinical and Translational Scholar at the University of Utah, where he also serves as the University's Student Media Advisor. Working out of the Department of Communication, and in coordination with the Honors College, his research and project developments focus on the intersections of journalistic identity, misinformation, digital and social media, and broader health communication. He also was selected as a 2018 National Humanities Center Summer Fellow for his explorations of artificial intelligence in journalism and in healthcare settings and served in 2019 as an Oslo Metropolitan Digital Journalism Research Fellow in Oslo, Norway.
Avery also serves as a Humanities Scholar Faculty Member and co-founder of the University of Utah's Society of Professional Journalists. In the former role, he helps design and implement specialized lessons for select students in the College of Humanities at Utah. In the latter, he helped to re-establish the University's chapter of SPJ in 2019. He was an H2 Honors Professor in the Honors College at Utah for 2014-2015, co-teaches an Honors Praxis Lab on Misinformation and Information Disorder (2019-2020), and was named a 2018 Rising Star in the Humanities at the University of Utah.
Randy Dryer is the Presidential Honors Professor at the University with a joint appointment at the S.J. Quinney College of Law and the University Honors College. Prior to his faculty appointment, he practiced law with Parsons Behle & Latimer, Utah’s largest law firm. Professor Dryer teaches courses in Media Law, Pretrial Practice, Social Media Law, and Privacy Law. This is his third Praxis Lab!